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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Nelson artefacts go on sale
Nelson's sword
Nelson's sword at the Battle of the Nile
A collection of items which once belonged to Lord Nelson are up for auction on Monday.

The Nelson Museum in Great Yarmouth is bidding for a letter written by the naval hero.

It is among a recently discovered collection of Nelson artefacts.

The 93 lots are expected to fetch more than 1m at Sotheby's auction house in London.

The items include Admiral Nelson's sword from the Battle of the Nile and a purse he reputedly carried at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Nelson's purse
Nelson's purse at Trafalgar

Martyn Dower, jewellery director for Sotheby's, said the purse has an estimate of between 60,000 and 80,000.

"We never saw anything quite like this before," he said.

"It was with him (Nelson) at the battle of Trafalgar almost 200 years ago when he was killed, and still has the coins in it.

'Slice of history'

"You are not buying an object, you are buying a slice of history. And what price is that history worth?"

The collection had belonged to Nelson's friend Alexander Davidson and remained hidden from the public for almost two centuries.

Last week, Nelson was named in a BBC poll as one of the ten greatest Britons, alongside Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, John Lennon and Princess Diana.

The sale is taking place 197 years to the day after the battle of Trafalgar on 21 October, 1805.


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